advertisement
advertisement

Allbirds’s new sneaker collaboration isn’t as weird as it sounds

The sneaker startup and the boxed water brand Just may seem like odd bedfellows, but the companies share goals and material technology.

Allbirds’s new sneaker collaboration isn’t as weird as it sounds
[Photo: Allbirds]

Sneaker brands are famous for their unusual collaborations. Take shoe startup Koio, which recently launch a croissant-inspired sneaker with baker Dominique Ansel that allows you to express your love of French pastry in padded ergonomic comfort. Or Vans, which dropped a collection of Harry Potter kicks inspired by the four Hogwarts houses. Today, sustainable sneaker brand Allbirds drops its own slightly weird collaboration: The characteristically minimal brand partnered with Just Water, the brand that sells water in boxes founded by Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith, on two new limited edition sneakers. 

advertisement
[Photo: Allbirds]

On the surface a shoe and water brand would make odd bedfellows, but there’s some logic to partnership. Both are B Corporations, a certification that highlights a company’s commitment to social good. And both brands have used innovative design to create more sustainable alternatives to mainstream products.

[Photo: Allbirds]

In fact, the brands actually have similar sourcing. Allbirds Tree sneakers and Just boxes are both made from trees certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Last year, Allbirds found a way to make plastic soles out of Brazilian sugarcane, rather than fossil fuels, and made the formula open-source—and Just water recently used this technology to create the caps that screw on to the boxes.

[Photo: Allbirds]

The two styles—a $115 high top and a $95 runner—are both white with cyan details that are the same shade as Just’s boxes. A little tab on the back of the sneaker features a drop of water. 100% of the proceeds from this collaboration will go to the Earth Alliance launched by Leonardo diCaprio, who also happens to be an Allbirds investor. The rainforest is currently burning up due to forest fires sparked by man-made climate change. This is actually aggravating global warming because the trees in the Amazon are crucial for removing carbon from the world’s atmosphere. (Here’s a list of nine ways to help mitigate this disaster.)

If you’re in the market for a new pair of white kicks and want to support B corps doing work on sustainable materials, this is definitely the sneaker for you. But if you’re happy with the sneakers you have, remember that the most eco-friendly thing for you to do is to own less stuff.

advertisement
advertisement

About the author

Elizabeth Segran, Ph.D., is a staff writer at Fast Company. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts

More